The Association for Maximum Service Television Stations (MSTV) and the NAB have announced a joint program for the development of a prototype terrestrial digital converter box (TDCB) to convert broadcasters' ATSC VSB digital transmissions and MPEG coding to the NTSC format. The MSTV and NAB have also announced availability of a Request for Quote (RFQ) for the TDCB.
Design goals for the TDCB include the following features:
- Inexpensive, does not compromise over-the-air performance;
- Processes all ATSC video formats;
- Delivers video and stereo audio to NTSC receivers on either TV Ch. 3 or 4, along with a baseband composite video output with stereo audio;
- Must have robust front-end performance, including multipath and overload immunity;
- Small and lightweight;
- Easy to install and operate;
- Transparent to the user;
- Be PSIP-compliant and have a friendly menu guide;
- Comply with closed captioning, EAS and the required parental controls;
- Include a detachable antenna and a smart external antenna interface;
- Be operable by remote control.
Responses are due by noon on July 22. A working prototype is expected by the end of the year. Those interested in receiving the RFQ should send an e-mail to Victor Tawil at Vtawil@MSTV.ORG.